Neal Stephenson on Science Fiction, Building Towers 20 Kilometers High ... and Insurance. Speaking before a packed lecture theater at MIT yesterday, Neal Stephenson worried that the gloomy outlook prevalent in modern science fiction may be undermining the genre’s ability to inspire engineers and scientists.
Describing himself as a “pessimist trying to turn himself into an optimist,” and acknowledging that some of his own work has contributed to the dystopian trend, he added “if every depiction of the future is grim…then it doesn’t create much of an incentive to building the future.” Consequently, Stephenson is trying to make a literary course correction, and last year launched the Heiroglyph Project, with the goal of creating an anthology of plausibly optimistic science fiction.
Terence Mckenna - Schizophrenic or Shamanic? TEMPLE COMPLEX COULD ALTER THEORY OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT. As a child, Klaus Schmidt used to grub around in caves in his native Germany in the hope of finding prehistoric paintings.
Thirty years later, representing the German Archaeological Institute, he found something infinitely more important -- a temple inland complex almost twice as old as anything comparable on the planet. "This place is a supernova", says Schmidt, standing under a lone tree on a windswept hilltop 35 miles north of Turkey’s border with Syria. "Within a minute of first seeing it I knew I had two choices: go away and tell nobody, or spend the rest of my life working here. " Behind him are the first folds of the Anatolian plateau. Ahead, the Mesopotamian plain, like a dust-colored sea, stretches south hundreds of miles to Baghdad and beyond. Jason Martell / AncientX.com. The Bible tells us that God created Adam and Eve just a few thousand years ago, by some fundamentalist interpretations.
Science informs us that this is mere fiction and that man is a few million years old, and that civilization just tens of thousands of years old. Could it be, however, that conventional science is just as mistaken as the Bible stories? There is a great deal of archeological evidence that the history of life on earth might be far different than what current geological and anthropological texts tell us. Consider these astonishing finds: Maxwell's Demon Converts Information into Energy.
For the first time, scientists have converted information into pure energy, experimentally verifying a thought experiment first proposed 150 years ago.
The idea was originally formulated by physicist James Clerk Maxwell, but it gained controversy because it appeared to violate the second law of thermodynamics. Put in experimental terms, this law states that when hot and cold water are mixed, they will eventually reach an equilibrium middling temperature. Maxwell proposed that a hypothetical being (later dubbed Maxwell's demon) could separate the water into two compartments and reverse the process, isolating hot molecules from cold by letting only the hotter-than-average through a trap-door between the compartments.
Because mixed water is considered more disordered (i.e. of higher entropy) than separated water, the demon has converted a system from a state of disorder to a state of order, using only information (the knowledge of which molecules were hot and cold). Physicists Convert Information Into Energy. Here’s a fascinating piece of work.
Build a tiny staircase and place a small polystyrene bead on the bottom step (a staircase is fairly straightforward to construct using electric fields). It’s easy to see the bead being jostled around by the random motion of molecules in the surrounding air, the well-known phenomenon of Brownian motion. Most of the time, the Brownian motion tends to knock the bead down the stairs but sometimes the jostling is powerful enough to push the bead up a step. Relating Thermodynamic Entropy to Information Entropy with Maxwell's Demon. Brownian motion, the natural vibrations of atoms not at an absolute zero temperature, has long been the strategic key for anyone looking for a way to achieve the holy grail of reversing the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that a closed system will always move toward a state of increasing disorder.
I previously covered Richard Feynman’s Brownian Ratchet, which harnessed the power of Brownian motion to turn a rotor, and, as Feynman explains, wouldn’t work because the device would need to be so small that it would vibrate apart from the Brownian motion of its own molecules. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” to quote the old adage, or “You can’t stuff the mushroom cloud back into the shiny uranium sphere,” to quote Robert Heinlein, or “Things fall apart. It’s scientific,” to quote the Talking Heads. Illustration of a Particle Rising in Potential Energy through Information Alone Credit: Nature Physics, doi:10.1038/nphys1821. Entropy in thermodynamics and information theory. There are close parallels between the mathematical expressions for the thermodynamic entropy, usually denoted by S, of a physical system in the statistical thermodynamics established by Ludwig Boltzmann and J.
Willard Gibbs in the 1870s, and the information-theoretic entropy, usually expressed as H, of Claude Shannon and Ralph Hartley developed in the 1940s. Shannon, although not initially aware of this similarity, commented on it upon publicizing information theory in A Mathematical Theory of Communication. This article explores what links there are between the two concepts, and how far they can be regarded as connected. Entropy in thermodynamics and information theory. There are close parallels between the mathematical expressions for the thermodynamic entropy, usually denoted by S, of a physical system in the statistical thermodynamics established by Ludwig Boltzmann and J.
Willard Gibbs in the 1870s, and the information-theoretic entropy, usually expressed as H, of Claude Shannon and Ralph Hartley developed in the 1940s. Shannon, although not initially aware of this similarity, commented on it upon publicizing information theory in A Mathematical Theory of Communication. Sacred Economics. This week, with some of the RS team off the grid at the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada, we'll be presenting highlights from the archives.
The following article first ran on Reality Sandwich on February 22, 2010, and is a adapted from the introduction to the upcoming book Sacred Economics. The purpose of the book is to make money and human economy as sacred as everything else in the universe. Ufo ? Mass Sighting. Warning: This may make you feel very very small. LUNAR LIGHTS ON A HOLLOW MOON? Nevertheless, official NASA transcripts and blatant censorship of audio transmissions don't get any more ominous.
Over the past year, I have discovered that there are many mysteries in which NASA and the moon share. I've already provided some evidence of NASA obscuring certain elements during the Apollo Missions (more below) - but were they already aware and prepared for spooky things being seen or heard on the moon before the Apollo missions were even launched? Strange lights and objects have been recorded on our moon for hundreds of years. Do trees communicate? Networks, networks… UBC Professor Suzanne Simard on Mother Trees. I was unfamiliar with how mycorrhizal networks connect the roots of trees, facilitating the sharing of resources. Dr. Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. New International VersionI form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. New Living TranslationI create the light and make the darkness.
I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things. Magic mushroom’s positive effects lasting over a year, say researchers. By Eric W. DolanWednesday, June 15, 2011 16:45 EDT Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine claim to have determined the proper dose levels needed to create positive changes in attitudes, mood, life satisfaction, and behavior that persist for more than a year with the psychoactive substance in so-called “magic mushrooms.” The findings are the latest in a series of experiments done at Johns Hopkins to investigate psilocybin, a psychedelic substance contained in certain mushrooms.
The findings were published online this week in the peer-reviewed journal Psychopharmacology. Semmelweis reflex. The Semmelweis reflex or "Semmelweis effect" is a metaphor for the reflex-like tendency to reject new evidence or new knowledge because it contradicts established norms, beliefs or paradigms. The term originated from the story of Ignaz Semmelweis, who discovered that childbed fever mortality rates reduced ten-fold when doctors washed their hands with a chlorine solution between patients. His hand-washing suggestions were rejected by his contemporaries, often for non-medical reasons. For instance, some doctors refused to believe that a gentleman's hands could transmit disease (see Contemporary reaction to Ignaz Semmelweis). See also References SpaceCollective. Terence McKenna - How Psychedelics Became Illegal
Chaîne de AlienScientist Organic Evolution. Unlearn What You Have Learned Proof that genius lies everywhere. If only we can learn to stop learning. read more America’s Obession With Violence One day after the MLK holiday, just over one month since Sandy Hook, this quote from Dr. The Solar System is Under Quarantine. RSA Animate - The Empathic Civilisation 2011-04-19-dark_science_09.jpg (960×1299) Vii. The Sphinx Mystery Robert Temple EQ12:1 (May 2009) Metamodernism.